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4/23/2006 World News: Bush Hails Iraqi Agreement to Form Government


Iraq: President Bush has hailed an agreement by Iraqi leaders to form a new government as a historic achievement for the war-torn coun
Speaking hours after Iraqi President Jalal Talabani designated Jawad al-Maliki as prime minister Saturday, Mr. Bush called the agreement an important milestone in Iraq's journey to democracy.
The designation of Mr. Maliki, a Shi'ite, as prime minister ends a four-month deadlock. He has 30 days to present his Cabinet to parliament for approval.
The prime minister-designate also faces the daunting task of quelling an insurgency and sectarian violence that threatens to move the country toward civil war.

Iraq Violence: The U.S. military says three U.S. soldiers have been killed in a roadside bomb blast northwest of Baghdad. A statement says the blast occurred near mid-day today (Sunday).
Earlier, Iraqi officials said at least five civilians were killed in mortar attacks in Baghdad, near the entrance to the Defense Ministry.
The building is located on the edge of the heavily guarded "Green Zone," which also houses the U.S. embassy and the Iraqi parliament.

Nepal: Thousands of Nepalese protesters have gathered on the outskirts of Kathmandu for another day of rallies demanding the ouster of King Gyanendra and the restoration of democracy." hspace=2 src="/lao/images/ap_nepal_kathmandu_protesters_20apr06_eng_195.jpg" width=210 align=right vspace=2 border=0>
Police opened fire on one group of protesters, wounding at least three people.
The demonstrators are defying an 11-hour curfew imposed by the government today (Sunday) in a bid to prevent unrest.
VOA's correspondent in Kathmandu (Patricia Nunan) says the protesters are largely sticking to the ring road surrounding the capital. She says the protesters are not trying to force their way into the city center, as they did the previous day.

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